All the red banners are going up in the streets around me preparations have started for Chinese New Year…Which this year is the 5th February…
Everywhere and everyone will soon be a riot of bright red…Houses decorated and beautiful lanterns hanging everywhere…Children will be walking around in their pretty new red clothes everywhere is so colourful and vibrant.
By now most of you know that I love tradition and Thailand is steeped in tradition… Chinese New Year will soon be upon us followed by the lantern festival… Already the preparations have begun and if you are travelling to Thailand or China and will be here on those dates you will be awed at the sight of the red and yellow lanterns and decorations which are hung everywhere…We have huge Thai/Chinese population here and last year Udon Thani was awash with all the banners, flags and decorations we had street entertainment..lots of delicious street food and it is time for me once again to sample different dishes…The fireworks are impressive and the music loud…Oh Yes! I kid you not…
But it is fun so much to see and do..dancing dragons, lions and stilt walkers the acrobatics they do on stilts..the mind boggles…How?
Chinese New Year is followed by the Lantern Festival which is celebrated 15 days after Chinese New Year…and the little rice balls which are traditionally eaten are foodies heaven…wonderful little morsels of food…in the past there have been celebrations on each day after Chinese New Year up until the 15th making for one long celebration now you have the Chinese New Year and then The Lantern Festival on the 15th day afterwards.
It is the conclusion of the Lantern Festival and Chinese New Year the food they eat traditionally Tang Yuan…Beautiful Chinese balls with lots of different filling and sauces…Another Yum! And not only do you get delicious food but look at these little children’s clothes and tell me they are not so cute…
Many stories and myths which date back thousands of years are entrenched in these celebrations …Why the red and loud firecrackers?
One such legend is that a monster called Nian lived at the bottom of the sea and once a year he came up onto the land to feast on humans and animals. Villagers were so frightened that they fled high up into the hills to escape Nian. Legend tells us that one year an old beggar came to the village seeking shelter everyone ignored him as they were busy fleeing into the mountains. An old woman took him in and he promised her he would chase the Nian away never to return.
He then set about decorating the house inside and out in bright red and he decked himself out in red clothes.
Midnight came as did the fiery monster Nian as soon as he saw the red paper decorations he stopped and roared loudly at the same time firecrackers started going off which frightened him. The beggar appeared dressed all in red and stood laughing at the Nian who turned and ran away never to appear again…
When the villagers returned and saw that their homes were ok they realised that red and the loud firecrackers were what they needed to keep Nian away.
This is why every Chinese New Year every home and shop is decorated in Red and red clothing is worn then at midnight firecrackers are set off.
It is also customary to give out red envelopes to children containing money.
This year it is the Chinese year of the Pig which is the twelfth in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign.
A pig is not thought to be a smart animal in China. It likes sleeping, eating and so becomes fat. Thus it usually features laziness and clumsiness. On the positive side, it behaves itself, has no plan to harm others, and can bring affluence to people. Consequently, it has been regarded as wealth.
To learn more about the characteristics of the Pig…See this China travel guide.
That’s all for today I will follow this post with a part 2 after the 5th Feb as hopefully, I will have lots of pictures to share…I am looking forward to some lovely street food xxx
I hope you have enjoyed this post please let me know in comments as I love to hear from you….Thank you for reading xxx
About Carol Taylor:
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx